Every year on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated across the globe. It’s more than just an opportunity to remind us of the importance of taking care of the environment. The energy and enthusiasm that surrounds Earth Day is inspiring as it motivates, mobilizes, and engages people of all walks of life—in every corner of the world—to make conscious change for our beautiful planet.
While inspiration abounds during this time, it’s a great idea to include the entire family in Earth Day activities. Your kids can begin learning about the environment and how they can help protect it at any age. This year, consider making earth-honoring commitments with your family like going organic, beginning to compost waste, or becoming dedicated to recycling; these small resolutions can have a big impact!
Read on for more ideas about things to do with kids to celebrate Mother Earth this April (and beyond):
It probably goes without saying, but one of the best Earth Day activities is to go outside and explore nature. No matter where you live—whether it’s in a forest, the suburbs, the desert, or a dense city—nature is surrounding you. Take a hike with the family, go on a bike ride, explore tide pools, or bird watch in a local park.
Those who dwell in a busy city’s center can also reap the benefits of nature even if there are no nearby parks. Just being outside and consciously enjoying the sun on your face, feeling the breeze, and listening to the sounds of birds is enough to honor all that the planet provides you.
There’s no denying that trees are a necessity for life on Earth. They supply oxygen and food, as well as improve the air we breathe, preserve the soil, and provide homes for wildlife. A beautiful way to honor this fact with your family is by planting trees, whether in your own yard, in your community (with permission), or with a volunteer group.
Reach out to organizations that sponsor community tree-planting opportunities. Some cities and utility companies coordinate tree-planting programs as well. Some national foundations will even reward you with an exciting opportunity when you become a member: free trees to plant in your yard!
Be of Service
Volunteering with children instills them with compassion and the importance of giving back. On Earth Day, find ways in which you and your family can be of service to the Earth. Peruse your local resources for organizations that sponsor Earth Day volunteering events. Another great idea is gathering your family, some gloves, and recyclable bags, and heading down to your local beach, park, watershed, or neighborhood to pick up trash. Don’t forget to separate recyclables from trash—and pack a picnic to enjoy in your newly pristine spot.
Grow a Family Garden
Have you wanted to start a vegetable or flower garden, but don’t know when (or how) to start? The perfect time to grow a garden with your family is when spring is abuzz! Don’t have a backyard suitable for growing a garden? That’s no problem.
Container gardens are one option for apartment dwellers or those short on space. Spending the day with your family designing herb-filled containers for your balcony or patio, planting organic vegetables in a raised-bed community garden, or even beginning to plant the garden of your dreams are all wonderful ways to spend this day.
Play in Nature
Create a good, old-fashioned treasure hunt, Earth Day style. This is an exciting activity for the entire family that focuses on teaching kids the importance of respecting the environment. You can draw a map of specific items to find or get creative and write riddles for each treasure to be found.
Your children will have a blast exploring the area for a variety of items from nature. Each item can be accompanied by a tag that explains why it is vital to nature and what its purpose is. Add to the intrigue by including some items that don’t belong in nature (like trash) with attached tags stating the negative impact they have on the environment.
Whatever you have planned for April 22, it’s sure to instill a love of the planet in every member of your household. Tweet ideas and pictures from your family’s Earth Day plans to @TomsofMaine!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.